England's Danny Care. *AFP photo
England's Danny Care. *AFP photo

Lewis Moody believes the British and Irish Lions have missed a trick by leaving England scrum-half Danny Care at home.

Moody, a former England captain and Lions veteran, believes the Harlequins man’s style would have been perfectly suited to the hard grounds of Australia this summer but reckons he’s paid the price for not being his country’s number one.

While the omission of England skipper Chris Robshaw and the make up of the back row has made more headlines, it’s Care and Ireland Rory Best that Moody — who will manage a Bermuda Select XV against Saracens on the island on May 31 — feels has got the rawest deal.

“Robshaw was unlucky to miss out,” Moody told the Bermuda Sun. “But I actually think Danny Care was the most unlucky person to miss out.

"Danny and Rory Best – a lot of people had Rory nailed on as captain at one point, not me, but he was spoken about. So for him not to even be in the squad was quite a surprise but he didn’t have the greatest Six Nations and I think a lot of those Irish guys succumbed to the fact their team didn’t play that well.

"I just think Danny has been a class player. I maybe think they didn’t want to take a second-choice scrum-half from England which is maybe unfair because I think Danny definitely deserves to go. His style of play on those pitches in Australia would have been perfect – hard ground, scampering across, finding spaces.”

One area ‘Mad Dog’ has no quibbles over is coach Warren Gatland’s choice of Wales’ Sam Warburton as captain, while he believes it was clear Robshaw was up against it.

He said: “I didn’t think you could pick anyone else really. Firstly Sam’s part of a winning side at the moment, they’ve been through their up and downs over the past 12 months but I think the way he handled that probably led to the coach’s decision to make him captain. I couldn’t agree with it more.

“I did have Robshaw in my squad but after Gatland mentioned he was only going to take out an out-and-out seven, I knew it was going to be a long shot him going.

"But I thought he would be on the plane because I thought he’d be able to cover the back row as a whole and because of his leadership and the amount of work he does on the pitch.

“I do feel sorry for Chris missing out, I think there was definitely a place on the plane but you can’t argue with any of the players he’s taken.”

Moody will be in Australia for three weeks as a fan and says he is excited by the potential in the party. Stopping the Aussie backs, he says, will be the key to a winning tour.

The former flanker said: “The players Australia have at their disposal there is dangerous on any level. They’ve just bought Kurtley Beale back — he had an epic game at the weekend considering he’s been out for seven weeks for various misdemeanors  — Quade Cooper’s coming back into the reckoning, although I don’t know if that will be good or bad for Australia because he can be quite a divisive individual by the sounds of things.

“But he is an impressive talent — I think he sidestepped me about seven times in one game so I know only too well how elusive he is.

“Just across the backs, James O’Connor, Cooper Vuna, they have endless number of players they can call upon with blistering skill sets and pace so restricting them of ball is imperative for the Lions.

“But then I’m sure the Lions will want to play their own style of rugby and it will quite interesting because they’ve got some enormous blokes in the back line — they’ll probably just want to run over people.

“Whether that will work, we’ll have to wait and see. You have to look at Alex Cuthbert, George North, Manu Tuilagi, Jamie Roberts, I mean, they’re beasts, and that’s only four of them. So it will just be interesting to see what style of rugby the Lions play.”